Vote for RVA’s most promising start-up

Next month, the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s i.e. initiative will award $10,000 plus office space, mentoring, and other goodies to one lucky Richmond start-up. To help narrow the field of entries, you can now vote for your favorite start-up ideas. Here’s some of our favorites.


Next month, the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s i.e. initiative will award $10,000 plus office space, mentoring, and other goodies to one lucky Richmond start-up. To help narrow the field of entries, you can now vote1 for your favorite start-up ideas until 11pm on Thursday, June 7th (one vote per day).

With almost 150 entries to choose from, sorting through all of those companies can pose a serious challenge to both your schedule and your attention span.

But lo, gentle reader! We’ve done the hard work for you. What follows is a brief selection of the most innovative business ideas submitted to the i.e. rva competition, most of which did not receive nearly as many votes as they deserved in the previous, scrubbed round of voting. These aren’t the only good ideas–far from it–but in a crowded field they stood out as uniquely creative and positioned for success.

Spread the wealth of your votes around to some of these great startups in Richmond.

— ∮∮∮ —


Bike racks with built-in smart locks to make biking less risky and more attractive. These guys have already been profiled in Richmond BizSense and Work It! Richmond; their idea solves a real problem at an affordable price point with huge benefits for colleges and communities. Anything we can do to make biking more appealing is awesome. Read more »


Rain harvesting systems and environmentally-friendly landscaping. Perfectly poised to capitalize on growing interest in sustainable, environmentally-friendly homes, TwiceEast provides products and services we should all be using. Read more »

And the categories are…

There’s a ton of start-ups participating in this competition, and you’ll be surprised at the range of creativity represented. Take a second (or an hour) to browse around the offerings, presented here by category:

Be aware, sometimes the categorization is…unexpected.

Natural Organic Process Enterprises (NOPE)

Collecting and composting organic waste. Their service benefits the environment while providing value and cost-savings to customers, a win-win. Read more »


Better, more stylish uniforms for nurses. I wish they’d included a photo of this new uniform, but anything we can do to make nurses happier at their jobs seems like a good idea to me. A large, growing market means there’s plenty of potential here. Read more »

KAYAK Richmond

Rental kayaks on the river and guided kayak tours. What a great way for Richmond residents and visitors to experience the river. They’d lower the barrier to entry for people curious about kayaking, getting more city residents involved in healthy outdoor recreation. Read more »

Vet Home Care LLC

Veterinary care that makes house calls. This is a service that more and more people will want as our population continues to age and as more people start working from home. Seriously, why is this not more common? He even speaks Spanish–huge business potential here. Read more »

Service Dog 411

Provides help and guidance navigating the process of obtaining a service dog. Again, as our population ages and our health care system grows more complex, boutique services like this, which help people navigate the complexities of the system, will provide tremendous value. Read more »

— ∮∮∮ —


  1. Editor’s note: Late last week a surging wave of Richmonders cast a million (seriously, not an exaggeration!) votes for these start-ups, and the poor i.e.* web server promptly crashed under the crush of the tide. The unresponsive voting page gypped a couple dozen companies out of the chance to garner votes. So i.e. has deleted all of the previous votes and opened up this new voting period. You can read their thoughts about the process here
  • error

    Report an error

Wren Lanier

Wren Lanier likes making trouble and eating bagels, not necessarily in that order. You can follow her wildly inappropriate comments on Twitter.

2 comments on Vote for RVA’s most promising start-up

  1. Good choices, but would have thought you’d have Dozer on the list. Anybody who has had a baby/toddler would love that thing…

  2. wren on said:

    Dozer seems like a neat idea, but I have a lot of concerns about liability with a product like that. One baby flipped over and injured/killed would bury a small start-up with lawsuits. Not to mention how easy it would be for Graco or Playskool to copy this idea and sell their own version. (Don’t even say the word patent. The current patent system is a joke.)

    To me, Dozer sounds like a one-off product idea that should be monetized by selling to a larger company, not the basis for a start-up with long-term growth potential. I favor innovation, but also companies that will put down roots in Richmond, create jobs and benefit our community as a whole.

Leave a comment

Your comment may be held for moderation and may not appear until manually approved. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Or report an error instead